Time for local authorities to protect human rights of Roma
(Brussels, 20 October 2011) Following the adoption by the Council of Europe’s Congress for Local & Regional Authorities of a resolution and recommendation on the situation of Europe’s Roma, Amnesty International has called on local and regional authorities to meet their legal obligation not to discriminate against these people, and to ensure their human rights are respected.
“This is a call on local officials to halt systemic discrimination which is keeping these people in ghettos across Europe”, said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “These officials must prevent further violations and take responsibility for protecting the most vulnerable. It’s unacceptable that Roma people are prime victims of forced eviction, are denied birth certificates, their children are segregated at school and receive a sub-standard education”.
Amnesty International has urged European countries and their local and regional authorities to implement fully the Congress’s calls, and particularly:-
• End segregated schooling for Roma children
• Develop strategies to end residential segregation and ensure access to adequate housing for Roma communities, ensuring access to basic amenities and services to encourage social inclusion
• Ensure access to adequate housing on suitable sites for travelling/migrant families with access to basic amenities and services and effective site management
• Ensure security of tenure in their homes or on sites, which includes regularising informal settlements, avoiding forced evictions, and ensuring adequate alternative housing wherever necessary, consulting those affected
• Publicly condemn and oppose any display of anti-Gypsyism in the form of hate speech, discrimination, threats, intimidation and physical violence, and ensure the law is enforced effectively and in a non-discriminatory way
For further details on Amnesty International's work to combat discrimination against Roma and Travellers across Europe, please see:-